Since Estelle Getty’s passing, I have been re-watching a lot of the show over the past several months. The Golden Girls is one of my favorite shows of all time, and even though it is rerun a lot, it’s one of those shows that do love to watch, but I can’t watch it every time it’s on, in fear that I’ll grow sick of it. For me it’s best to watch some favorites bunches at a time. And considering the circumstances, I have to admit that it was sad seeing a couple of episodes, for instance “The Heart Attack” from season one, where the girls fear that Sophia is dying.
I think for a lot of people as well as myself, one of the biggest reasons why the Sophia character was so much fun to enjoy was, well for one instance, whenever I watch, I feel as though the characters are almost distant relatives of mine, in some odd way. Sophia to many people was like a grandmother, and not only that, but her character and the other characters on The Golden Girls proved that life does not stop at a certain age. You can date, work at a fast food restaurant or as an activities director at a retirement home that you once despised, and even meet someone like Burt Reynolds. Not only was she fun to be around, but Sophia was someone you could get great advice and hear great stories from. While fiery and feisty, she was also warm and caring. And the greatness of the character besides the writing I think had a lot to do with Estelle. She was a very gifted actress, and I just can’t imagine anyone else playing Sophia Petrillo as sharply and as lively as she did.
Picture it: September 1985. A new sitcom called The Golden Girls debuted Saturday on NBC, with four women, three widowed, one divorced. Their chemistry together along with love, laughter, fights, and cheesecake embraced audiences and America (and the world) hasn’t been the same since.